Saturday, September 28, 2013

Three Films Make A Post: "SEAGAL'S BEST FILM IN YEARS"

Moon Zero Two (1969): All western clichés ever in space. Production and costume design so gloriously space age pop art my space eyes nearly did a lunar burst. Old school (as in "kaiju cinema and Italian space opera") miniature work to feast one's eyes on. On paper, this 1969 return of Hammer to SF film sounds like exactly the thing I'd want to see, but in practice, it's another one of those films that see aged filmmakers desperately grabbing for a new youth market without actually thinking through what they're doing. The result is a film half-hearted, disinterested, and boring, as if the producers and director Roy Ward Baker had assembled a series of elements they deigned to be hip without any clue what to do with them or just how to turn them into anything but a drag.

Ángel negro aka Black Angel (2000): Jorge Olguín's giallo-influenced slasher gets touted as Chile's first horror movie, which sounds rather improbable but might still be true. It's a student production and consequently suffers from the typical indie horror problems of dubious acting in the minor roles, scenes that start too early and end too late and the resulting glacial pace. However, while it's difficult to really recommend the film because of these problems, it does have some decent ideas, a general air of competence, and even two or three moody scenes, so I'm not averse to taking a look at Olguín's later movies. Talent enough for progression is there.

Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977): I've always had the impression that this is one of the lesser loved Harryhausen/Schneer mythological, but really, what's not to like except for Patrick Wayne's line delivery? After all, this is a movie where the Second Doctor leads Sinbad to Hyperborea so they can cure a prince from being a baboon while an evil sorceress chews scenery and builds a minotaur robot driven barque, while Ray Harryhausen provides the proper sense of wonder via a giant walrus, insect eyed demons, a troglodyte (with a horn like a demon out of a Nigerian Christian horror movie!) versus giant sabre-toothed tiger fight and other delights to warm the hearts of everyone who carries such a device in their breast. I also like how Sam Wanamaker's direction turns out to be slightly more dynamic than is typical of these films. All in all, this one's still a delight.

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